Film ID:
YFA 1311

STREET STORIES

1999

Visitor Tabs

Description

Doncaster has had a distinct ‘red light’ area since the 1930s: a clearly defined community around Christchurch Rd. The prostitutes still work the streets but in recent years the atmosphere has changed; there’s heroin around, the girls are fighting and robbing each other, and the pimps are in control. In the middle of the chaos the women from Streetreach work, distributing condoms and advice; cups of tea and shoulders to cry on when baby’s taken away. Street Stories is a chance for the girls on the streets and the women of Streetreach to have their voice heard; to create a snapshot of life on the streets in Doncaster as we roll towards to millennium.  The film focuses on Marilyn and her group at Streetreach who are responsible for supporting prostitutes in the Doncaster red light area. It includes interviews with both the organisation workers and their clients and highlights the need for it as well as the lack of support for the organisation and others like it. 

Title: Street Stories
Darts, Doncaster 

The film opens with footage of women on Doncaster’s street corner. 

Title: Street Stories 
[On screen over top of footage of women on the street]
[Marilyn narrates over scenes as well as speaking within them]

Film begins with woman, we soon learn to be Marilyn Walker, she speaks as a narrator whilst footage of her walking through town plays. She describes a night when the police pulled up to her and a colleague, he eventually left them when discovering they worked for Streetreach.

Title: The Streetreach Project, Doncaster 
Title: produced in association with The Arts Council of England

Marilyn is then filmed entering the organisations centre.  The film cuts to Marilyn sitting with two clients on the sofa.  They are talking about self-defence classes they could take. 

The film then introduces the interview, which is used to narrate over most of the film, in which Marilyn is sat on a sofa on her own. She explains that Streetreach is a confidential organisation that aims to support women working in prostitution, as well as men who have homosexual relations. It is described as a growing organisation which now has a drop-in centre. 

Marilyn explains the services that they provide, whilst clips of the women using the centre flash across the screen. She states how Streetreach is unique to Doncaster and at the forefront nationally in their field. She attributes their success to their determination to keep raising the issue of prostitution to the council and explains her role full-time is an under 16s worker.  The film then cuts to their office and the admin support worker discusses her own role within the organisation. 

The film now begins to focus on the organisation’s clients. They speak of the length of time they have been attending Streetreach, and how enjoyable it is as a place to talk. Marilyn highlights the centre as close to the “red light” area, and the contrast with the daytime with many commuters traveling through. The film includes footage of such scenes. She also describes the good working relationship the organisation now has with the police. 

It cuts to the women leaving the centre and walking the route they do from 8pm-10pm, which Marilyn describes overtop the footage. A new client is then introduced whom discusses the finances of prostitution. Marilyn confesses heroin to be the main issue on streets, which has led to many new faces at Streetreach. This narration overlaps footage of Doncaster’s streets at night.  

Then the film jumps back to the conversation prior in which they express the money per night she needs and how all her previous earnings went on ‘gear’. Marilyn then claims that without heroin she does not believe she would continue to see so many women. 

The next scene is Streetreach on the streets meeting with the women during the night handing out condoms and checking in on them. They mention the detox many of the women undergo and the need for the organisation afterwards to support them and keep the girls clean. 

The film then introduces a new woman whom Streetreach has helped enrol at Northern College. They interview within the centre’s office and Marilyn narrates over it about the need for college courses. The film then tunes in on the actual interview and how since attending Streetreach she has grown in confidence. This is contrasted with her night-time appearance which she discusses and shows to the camera. 

Marilyn goes on to explain how the organisation is not purely for working prostitutes.  An interview with another girl explains outlets such as poetry and describes Streetreach as a safe environment to be and talk in.  Other reasons for being involved in prostitution are explored as this girl describes her need for food and clothes not drugs being her motivator. The film then directly interviews another of the girls, whom discusses her dreams for the future and trepidation over the prospect of Streetreach shutting down.  The film concludes with footage of Doncaster’s streets and Marilyn discussing the necessity of the organisation in highlighting the issue of underage prostitution in the town. 

Title: There is currently not funding for Marilyn’s post.
Title: The future for Streetreach is uncertain. 

The final voice heard is a girl stating how she will always come back due to their help and what they have been through together. 

Credits. [street in background – cars rolling past]
Thanks to Streetreach staff and clients 
Camera:  George Fretwell
Director:  Chris Batstone 
Production Facilities provided by:  Fern Creative Media Ltd.
With thanks to Marc Jobst
Street Stories Is part of The A4E Contemporary Video Collection 
Produced by Darts
As part of The Yorkshire Media Consortium 
Archived by Yorkshire Film Archive
Supported by National Lottery through the Arts Council of England
Copyright darts 1999